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Weekly Diaspora: What Homeland Security Looks Like After Bin Laden's Death

by: The Media Consortium

Thu May 05, 2011 at 18:38:06 PM EST

by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger

Nearly a decade ago, America's War on Terror began as a manhunt for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden, the mastermind behind the 9/11 terrorist attacks. But over the next nine years, that anti-terrorism effort evolved into a multi-faceted crusade: birthing a new national security agency, blossoming into two bloody wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, institutionalizing the racial profiling and surveillance of Muslim Americans and even redefining unauthorized Latin American immigration as-of all things-a national security issue. Now, in the wake of Osama Bin Laden's death, which elements of that crusade will persist or expand and which-if any-will dissolve?

 
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Weekly Diaspora: One Year After SB 1070, What's Changed?

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Apr 28, 2011 at 10:54:55 AM EST

by Catherine A. Traywick, Medica Consortium blogger

A year ago this month, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer signed SB 1070 into law, effectively pushing an already vibrant anti-immigrant movement to a new extreme. Over the following months, immigrant rights advocates prepared for the worst, and grappled with multiple setbacks as other states threatened to follow Arizona's example.

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Weekly Diaspora: The 2012 Budget and Our Unsecured Border

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Mar 03, 2011 at 11:51:46 AM EST

By Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger

President Obama is taking heat from all sides this week for his 2012 budget proposal, which proposes increased funding for immigration enforcement and border militarization. While immigrant rights advocates are predictably up in arms over the proposal, House Republicans are (somewhat uncharacteristically) demanding significant cuts to border security funding - on the grounds that the Obama administration's efforts to secure the border have been ineffective and fiscally irresponsible.

 
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Weekly Diaspora: Lawless Judges, Immigrant Soldiers, and Deportee Pardons

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Oct 28, 2010 at 10:56:53 AM EST

by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger

Here's the harsh truth about our immigration system: When 392,000 immigrants are detained per year and 33,000 more are detained everyday with limited staff and minimal federal oversight, institutional misconduct is inevitable.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is moving record-breaking numbers of immigrants through its ancillary agencies and, in the process, immigrant women are being raped by Border Patrol agents, LGBT detainees are being sexually assaulted at Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) facilities, and citizens and legal residents are certainly being deported.

How can such things come to pass? Simple: Both overworked and overzealous officials are enforcing overly broad immigration laws. It should be no wonder that people, inevitably, slip through the cracks-whether immigrant, citizen, or soldier.

Immigration judges subverting the law

Misconduct, corruption and a general inability to handle impossibly high caseloads aren't exclusive to DHS and its many agencies. On the contrary, organizational mismanagement plagues every aspect of the immigration process.

As Jacqueline Stevens reports at the Nation, immigration courts are rife with lawlessness and corruption. Charged with adjudicating the hundreds of thousands of immigrants thrown their way by DHS every year, judges are authorizing deportations without even seeing the defendants, issuing rulings at mass hearings (usually with no lawyers present), and abandoning due process for a quicker turn-around.

What's more: the Executive Office of Immigration Review (EOIR)-a separate agency from DHS-is actively shielding this misconduct from the public and trying to avoid federal oversight:

The public's ignorance of the idiocies endemic to the EOIR's business as usual and the calamities these entail is no accident. The agency deliberately withholds basic information from the media and researchers, and its top officials routinely decline requests for interviews [...] Complaints about immigration judges fall under the jurisdiction of the Office of Professional Responsibility (OPR), and people may file there directly, but the EOIR instructs immigration court stakeholders to lodge complaints with the EOIR itself. Instead of passing complaints on to the OPR, as the website promises, the EOIR top brass, to protect their cronies and avoid outside scrutiny, sweeps complaints under the rug.

Consequently, American citizens-as well as immigrants who could qualify to remain in the country-are being deported indiscriminately by judges whose decisions are rarely, if ever, questioned.

Immigrant soldiers deported after serving in the U.S. military

Immigrant soldiers serving in the U.S. military are among those routinely cheated by deportation-happy immigration judges.

Julianne Hing reports at Colorlines that 17,000 non-citizens are on active duty in the armed forces, and 4,000 immigrant veterans have already been deported or are facing deportation because of criminal convictions. Hing argues that, while some of those veterans are certainly guilty of violent crimes, many others have committed only minor crimes, like drug possession, and have already served time in jail. Deportation is a secondary, and wholly incommensurate, punishment.

There is certainly a double standard at play here. Veterans, regardless of immigration status, are more likely than the general population to abuse drugs and alcohol and to commit violent crimes. But while non-citizen soldiers are indiscriminately deported for minor offenses, thousands of American military rapists have deftly avoided punishment in the past 15 years.The U.S. government's prejudicial treatment of non-citizen soldiers isn't new (to date, Filipino veterans who fought alongside American soldiers in WWII are still waiting to receive the benefits promised to them), but it remains reprehensible.

The unique plight of immigrant veterans certainly puts into perspective the ongoing push for passage of the DREAM Act-proposed legislation that would provide a path to citizenship for immigrant youth who serve in the military.

New York governor to pardon deportees?

Fortunately, some government officials are working towards a fairer immigration system. Elise Foley at the Washington Independent reports that New York governor David Paterson (D) has created a panel to review thousands of pardon requests from immigrant detainees awaiting deportation:

The idea behind the panel is to allow relief from the "extremely inflexible" federal law for green card holders "who have contributed as New Yorkers and who deserve relief from deportation or indefinite detention," Paterson said when he announced its creation in May. [...] While Paterson's pardon panels would not change the way immigration courts are run, the effort is arguably a push to add a bit of discretion back into the system.

Paterson's laudable commitment to protecting the interests of immigrants, particularly when doing so is far from politically expedient, is proof positive that the rectifying our broken immigration system is entirely within the reach of our politicians. Misconduct and corruption within our immigration agencies are not merely the product of overcrowding and understaffing, but rather persistent inaction on the part of powerful lawmakers and government officials.

As Stevens wryly notes for The Nation: President Barack Obama, whose own citizenship is repeatedly questioned, ought to get on board.

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Weekly Diaspora: Why Detention Reform is Desperately Needed

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Oct 21, 2010 at 10:29:49 AM EST

by Catherine A. Traywick, Media Consortium blogger

Last October, the Obama administration's announced their intention to reform the detention system-to improve the management, medical care and accountability within detention centers, and make better use of low-cost alternatives to detention.

But one year later, a new report by the Detention Watch Network reveals that the "truly civil" detention system once promised by the administration has truly failed to materialize. And while the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has been crowing over its record number of deportations, it's suspiciously mum when it comes to the record number of detainees that still languish in woefully mismanaged detention facilities.

DHS gets an "F"

Elise Foley at the Washington Independent notes that, despite DHS's assurances that "visible changes have been made" to the system, immigrant rights advocates are critical of the purported reforms.

The Detention Watch Network, which graded DHS on each of its proposed reform initiatives, concluded that the agency has achieved minimal progress and has not substantively improved conditions for the nearly 400,000 immigrants detained every year under "cruel and unusual," prison-like conditions. DHS received particularly low marks on its promise to utilize low-cost and humane alternatives to detention, such as ankle bracelets or bond release.

Underscoring the case for alternatives to detention, Foley details the story of Pedro Perez Guzman, a 30-year-old undocumented immigrant who came to the U.S. at the age of eight. Guzman, who is married to an American citizen and has a young son, has been in detention since last year, when he was picked up on a deportation order. As a father, breadwinner, and long-time (albeit undocumented) resident, Guzman should be a good candidate for bond release or some other alternative to detention. But because DHS has failed to broadly implement such alternatives, he's spending his last months in the U.S. behind bars instead of with his family.

Reform hasn't curbed sexual abuse in detention

The administration's failure to meaningfully reform the broken detention system has particularly pernicious consequences for women detainees. As I detailed in a special report for Campus Progress, women in detention are routinely subject to a variety of mistreatment that ranges from gender discrimination to rape.

The T. Don Hutto detention facility in Texas stands out as a prime example of how failed reforms have disproportionately impacted women. Four years ago, the facility came under fire after a guard was caught having sexual relations with a woman detainee-an act which, thanks to a loophole in federal law, wasn't technically a crime in privately-operated ICE facilities.

Last year, DHS overhauled the Hutto detention center, publicly touting it as model facility that embodied the administration's vision for "truly civil" detention reform. Then, this August, a Hutto guard was arrested for sexually assaulting several detainees while transporting them for deportation. To date, no one knows how many women he assaulted, or whether other guards have done the same.

Clearly, a DHS facelift wasn't enough to correct a long-standing pattern of mismanagement, poor oversight, and discrimination that ultimately resulted in the victimization of an unknown number of immigrant women.

Traffic violations = mandatory detention

The ills plaguing the immigration detention system are further exacerbated by the growing number of detainees, which has reached a record of 33,000 per day and nearly 400,000 per year.

As Monica Fabian points out at Feet in Two Worlds, a significant proportion of these detainees have been pulled into the system by Secure Communities, a program which targets undocumented immigrants by allowing law enforcement to share fingerprints with federal authorities. Though Secure Communities is purported to target dangerous criminals, it has actually resulted in the detentions and deportations of a number of immigrants who had no criminal record or who were guilty of minor violations:

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) records obtained by the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law, the Center for Constitutional Rights, and the National Day Laborer Organizing Network through a Freedom of Information Act request, 79% of individuals deported through the Secure Communities program from October 2008 through June 2010 had no criminal record or were arrested for minor offenses like traffic violations.

Consequently, the detention system is swollen with scores of non-dangerous, non-criminal immigrants whose mandatory detention is not only expensive but excessively punitive.

Maricopa County steps forward

Some of the worst detention conditions documented by immigrant rights advocates have been in Maricopa County, AZ-under the purview of the infamous Sheriff Joe Arpaio. While Arpaio is notorious for treating his prisoners inhumanely, his deputies' treatment of pretrial immigrant detainees has ranged from racial discrimination and harassment to physical abuse and death.

Needless to say, federal reforms have not trickled down to Arpaio's jails, and they likely never will. A lack of legally enforceable baseline detention standards, as well as varying contracts between ICE and municipal jails, virtually ensure that reforms won't be comprehensively enacted or enforced.

Fortunately, the ACLU and other civil rights groups are stepping in where the government has failed to act.

Julianne Hing at Colorlines reports that the ACLU has received a favorable ruling in a lawsuit filed against Arpaio:

On Wednesday, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a ruling by a lower court that charged Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio with mistreatment of detainees in his jails for serving them spoiled food and neglecting their health.

Yesterday's ruling will set legal precedent, and help protect prisoners' rights who are in Arpaio's jails today. The order only applies to pre-trial detainees-those who cannot afford bail or are being held without bond, but have not been convicted of anything. According to the East Valley Tribune, that population is about 75 percent of the 8,000 people being held in Maricopa County jails.

While the ruling may be a step forward for detainee rights in Maricopa County jails, it's hardly progress for Arizona as a whole. Like most others states which house immigrant detainees, Arizona boasts a number of variously owned and operated detention facilities whose standards of care and confinement range widely (often to the detriment of detainees). Immediate and comprehensive detention reform is critical.

As Victoria Lopez, an immigration attorney for the ACLU of Arizona, explained to me: "Frankly, when you're dealing with the number of people that go through detention facilities in the U.S. and some of the life or death issues in these cases...I don't know how much longer folks can wait for reforms to trickle down from Washington, D.C., to Eloy, AZ."

This post features links to the best independent, progressive reporting about immigration by members of The Media Consortium. It is free to reprint. Visit the Diaspora for a complete list of articles on immigration issues, or follow us on Twitter. And for the best progressive reporting on critical economy, environment, and health care issues, check out The Audit, The Mulch, and The Pulse . This is a project of The Media Consortium, a network of leading independent media outlets.

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Words Do Matter Mr. Obama

by: Duke Reed

Fri Sep 11, 2009 at 01:06:12 AM EST

During the last ten minutes of President Obama's address to Congress on health care reform Wednesday, we witnessed perhaps one of the most stirring defenses of liberalism we've heard in years from any politician. Evoking the words and memory of the late Senator Edward Kennedy, Obama demonstrated once again the substantial oratory skills that helped put him in office. As a rhetorical exercise, his closing remarks were about as pitch perfect as it gets.  

I received one of those letters a few days ago.  It was from our beloved friend and colleague, Ted Kennedy.  He had written it back in May, shortly after he was told that his illness was terminal.  He asked that it be delivered upon his death.

In it, he spoke about what a happy time his last months were, thanks to the love and support of family and friends, his wife, Vicki, his amazing children, who are all here tonight.  And he expressed confidence that this would be the year that health care reform -- "that great unfinished business of our society," he called it -- would finally pass.  He repeated the truth that health care is decisive for our future prosperity, but he also reminded me that "it concerns more than material things."  "What we face," he wrote, "is above all a moral issue; at stake are not just the details of policy, but fundamental principles of social justice and the character of our country."

I've thought about that phrase quite a bit in recent days -- the character of our country.  One of the unique and wonderful things about America has always been our self-reliance, our rugged individualism, our fierce defense of freedom and our healthy skepticism of government.  And figuring out the appropriate size and role of government has always been a source of rigorous and, yes, sometimes angry debate.  That's our history.  

For some of Ted Kennedy's critics, his brand of liberalism represented an affront to American liberty.  In their minds, his passion for universal health care was nothing more than a passion for big government.

But those of us who knew Teddy and worked with him here -- people of both parties -- know that what drove him was something more.  His friend Orrin Hatch -- he knows that.  They worked together to provide children with health insurance.  His friend John McCain knows that.  They worked together on a Patient's Bill of Rights.  His friend Chuck Grassley knows that.  They worked together to provide health care to children with disabilities.

On issues like these, Ted Kennedy's passion was born not of some rigid ideology, but of his own experience.  It was the experience of having two children stricken with cancer.  He never forgot the sheer terror and helplessness that any parent feels when a child is badly sick.  And he was able to imagine what it must be like for those without insurance, what it would be like to have to say to a wife or a child or an aging parent, there is something that could make you better, but I just can't afford it.

That large-heartedness -- that concern and regard for the plight of others -- is not a partisan feeling.  It's not a Republican or a Democratic feeling.  It, too, is part of the American character -- our ability to stand in other people's shoes; a recognition that we are all in this together, and when fortune turns against one of us, others are there to lend a helping hand; a belief that in this country, hard work and responsibility should be rewarded by some measure of security and fair play; and an acknowledgment that sometimes government has to step in to help deliver on that promise.

This has always been the history of our progress.  In 1935, when over half of our seniors could not support themselves and millions had seen their savings wiped away, there were those who argued that Social Security would lead to socialism, but the men and women of Congress stood fast, and we are all the better for it.  In 1965, when some argued that Medicare represented a government takeover of health care, members of Congress -- Democrats and Republicans -- did not back down.  They joined together so that all of us could enter our golden years with some basic peace of mind.  

You see, our predecessors understood that government could not, and should not, solve every problem.  They understood that there are instances when the gains in security from government action are not worth the added constraints on our freedom.  But they also understood that the danger of too much government is matched by the perils of too little; that without the leavening hand of wise policy, markets can crash, monopolies can stifle competition, the vulnerable can be exploited.  And they knew that when any government measure, no matter how carefully crafted or beneficial, is subject to scorn; when any efforts to help people in need are attacked as un-American; when facts and reason are thrown overboard and only timidity passes for wisdom, and we can no longer even engage in a civil conversation with each other over the things that truly matter -- that at that point we don't merely lose our capacity to solve big challenges.  We lose something essential about ourselves.

whitehouse.gov

On Thursday, Rachel Maddow replayed that section of the President's speech and asked a rhetorical question as to whether Obama's soaring rhetoric about Kennedy was merely an homage to another man's liberalism or the first revelation of his own

But Maddow needed only to rewind the tape back a few minutes, and listen carefully to the words the President chose, to get the answer to that question.

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News Highlight - But Obama is a Liar ...

by: MaverickLal101

Wed Sep 09, 2009 at 21:31:21 PM EST


It is sad that most of our social networks and media blitzes are about how disrespectful Joe Wilson was rather than how centrist and inappropriate Barack Obama is with his assertion that all human beings don't deserve equal access to health care. He has to repeat himself while using the hateful discourse of 'illegal.' That's just low.

I wish Joe Wilson was right and Obama was lying about the fact that undocumented immigrants would not be covered. But Obama is a liar. Just not in the way that Joe Wilson meant it. Once upon a time, he used to be a proponent of single-payer health care -- "Everybody in, nobody out." And now that seems to be out the window. Sorry 'illegals' and everyone else who can't provide proper documentation. And this list also includes citizens:

I am effectively an "illegal immigrant," since I do not have gov't papers. Yes, this is because I am trans and a woman. (via @nueva_voz)

I am also who Obama called an 'illegal' today. But my family is here legally. Denying me access to health care, would put my health care needs squarely on their shoulders. How is that any change from the status quo?

All this makes me think that if the President had pursued immigration reform before health care, we probably wouldn't be seeing this hateful fear-mongering heckling.   Yet, President Obama has continued to pursue the same failed immigration enforcement policies of the Bush-era like 287g that is ripping apart communities of color.

Anything less than single-payer universal health care is a dismal failure when it comes to providing everyone with equal access to health care. Anything without a public option is not close to tolerable. I wish people were as outraged at Obama's centrist and hateful otherization of human beings as they are at Joe Wilson being an idiot.

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Weekly Immigration Wire: Silence Strengthens Opposition

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Aug 20, 2009 at 11:52:13 AM EST

By Nezua, TMC Mediawire Blogger

President Obama is citing the Healthcare debate as a reason for postponing immigration reform until 2010. But in the interim, the White House is laying the groundwork for an enforcement agenda by expanding programs such as 287(g), Secure Communities and e-Verify, amidst a growing matrix of detention centers. Anti-immigration factions are taking advantage of the lull in legislative action to push their own agenda.

The Progressive takes the unequivocal stand that "President Obama is wrong to postpone immigration reform." Author Ed Morales makes it clear that while healthcare and economic issues are "understandably urgent," the choice to delay reform "de-prioritizes" people who have paid their taxes but have not been given a path to citizenship.

The problem is, immigration reform and healthcare reform are inextricably connected. WireTap cites a central tenant of healthcare reform's "artificially amplified 'public' opposition" to immigration, as reported by the Los Angeles Times: It's "the notion that 'Congress would give illegal immigrants health insurance at taxpayer expense.'"

Is the racially charged core of this "chameleon colored outrage" being purposefully left out of the general dialogue? The ugly facts are that a "third of all 'Hispanics' in the U.S., almost half of the undocumented, and a fifth of African Americans" lack health insurance today. And yet, only "one in eight whites" lack health care.

After all, "Not all immigrants are alike." New America Media's David Hayes-Bautista compares the experiences of two immigrants named Jean-Claude and Juan Carlos. Hayes-Bautista effectively illustrates the Good Immigrant/Bad Immigrant paradigm and asks "Why do some immigrants move quickly and swiftly up the educational and professional ladder, while others appear to remain stymied at the bottom?" Ultimately, "both segments of immigrants deserve to be included in the future healthcare system that their presence will help to fund."

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Weekly Immigration Wire: White House Meeting a First Step to Reform

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Jul 02, 2009 at 10:46:30 AM EST

by Nezua, TMC MediaWire Blogger

After postponing twice, President Obama finally met with a bipartisan group of lawmakers on June 25 to discuss moving immigration reform legislation forward. The meeting was applauded by activists and advocates for immigration reform, as the issue seemed to have stalled, and the acrimonious tone of the debate has proven deadly.

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So The Time Isn't Now Then? : Obama Postpones Immigration Reform Meeting.....Again

by: MamitaMala

Sat Jun 13, 2009 at 14:15:19 PM EST

On the state level there are moves on the immigration front. Too bad most of these moves are clearly anti-migrant.

Despite DC orgs bringing hundreds to the Capitol to chant "Si Se Puede" in unision and in a variety of languages while assuring everyone that the first White House postponement of a bipartisan meeting on Comprehensive Immigration Reform was a positive thing because it gave more time to organize, Obama has done it again. He's indefinitely postponed a meeting that was supposed to be a big push in making immigration reform happen this year.

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Obama chooses ambassador to the Vatican

by: NLinStPaul

Thu May 28, 2009 at 11:41:19 AM EST

Obama has followed-up his nomination of Sonia Sotomayor to the Supreme Court with the nomination of Miguel Diaz, a Catholic theologian and scholar, to serve as ambassador to the Vatican.

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Bellingham Raid Focus Results in Drastically Different Outcome

by: nezua

Fri Apr 17, 2009 at 14:47:45 PM EST

ice-bedfordTHE FEBRUARY ICE RAIDS IN BELLINGHAM, WASHINGTON surprised many, coming as they did after President Obama was elected. The remnant of Bush-Chertoff style tactics were a brand new shock again, as a mass of federal agents surrounded a car engine repair shop and scooped many workers into buses waiting in the back.

Shortly after, Janet Napolitano confessed that the raid had taken even her by surprise, that she was not consulted, and that she would order a review. Speaker Pelosi was soon quoted speaking out against the devastating effects our "enforcement" tactics have been having on communities.

Did the focus have an effect on how this raid played out in the aftermath?

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Unified Labor Movement Supporting "Rights-Based" Immigration Reform

by: nezua

Tue Apr 14, 2009 at 15:40:14 PM EST

laborgroupsunited

LOOKS LIKE THERE'S SOME ORGANIZING going on behind the scenes. This is pretty big. And overall, it's very exciting news.

The nation's two major labor federations have agreed for the first time to join forces to support an overhaul of the immigration system, leaders of both organizations said on Monday. The accord could give President Obama significant support among unions as he revisits the stormy issue in the midst of the recession. ...

The accord endorses legalizing the status of illegal immigrants already in the United States and opposes any large new program for employers to bring in temporary immigrant workers, officials of both federations said.

-Immigration Accord by Labor Boosts Obama Effort


We know that big biz really likes their "temporary worker program" so they are going to fight this tooth and nail.

I've already offered my feelings on that angle (illustrated below).  But follow me behind the cut for a liveblog of most of the call.

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Game On: Obama will Move on Immigration Reform this Year

by: rachelfirm

Thu Apr 09, 2009 at 23:23:57 PM EST

Originally posted at Standing FIRM:  

Yesterday, President Obama heard our cries for immigration reform, and he has responded to our calls for action! An article appeared in the New York Times breaking the story of Obama's intention of moving on comprehensive immigration reform this year. All I have to say is - it's about time!

obamasupportsimmigration

According to the article Obama "plans to begin addressing the country’s immigration system this year, including looking for a path for illegal immigrants to become legal, a senior administration official said on Wednesday."  The President will speak publicly about his intentions in May and will begin rounding up a team of experts and advocates this summer, in order to begin crafting the legislation.

This news is an affirmation that Obama will make good on his campaign promises of immigration reform.

He said then that comprehensive immigration legislation, including a plan to make legal status possible for an estimated 12 million illegal immigrants, would be a priority in his first year in office.

This is a  politically savvy move - Latino and New American voters turned out in record numbers for Obama this past November.  But the bottomline may not be political,  it may be that this is the right move for the economy. Immigration reform is a crucial part of any plan to get our economy back on track. Not only will bringing workers out of the shadows increase wages across the board, it will increase our tax base, reward responsible employers and ensure fairness in the labor market. If  we want a level playing field where both American and immigrant workers are treated fairly and if we want to make sure everyone pays their share of taxes, we need comprehensive immigration reform.

HISPRALLY2.NE.041006.EDR.JPG

The article goes on, unfortunately, to cite too of the most infamous anti-immigrant groups in the country, FAIR and Numbers USA. Both groups are quoted giving reasons for why moving on immigration reform would be "politically disastrous" for Obama. But, they seem to have underestimated both the President and the groundswell of support for reform that we have been witnessing across the country.

Just last month, Mr. Obama openly recognized that immigration is a potential minefield.

"I know this is an emotional issue; I know it’s a controversial issue,” he told an audience at a town meeting on March 18 in Costa Mesa, Calif. “I know that the people get real riled up politically about this."

But, he said, immigrants who are long-time residents but lack legal status “have to have some mechanism over time to get out of the shadows.”

Immigrants need a way out of the shadows in order to help fix our economy. Fair and NumbersUSA clearly have no understanding about economic policy and no sense of what it will take to mend our communities and bring prosperity back to our families.  They are driven by their ant-immigrant agenda, no matter the cost.

Across the country, advocates are gearing up for May 1st, a day typically used to celebrate immigrant rights and remembered for the massive immigrants marches in 2006. Advocates, immigrants, faith leaders, community leaders and elected officials are all ready to stand with the President and make sure that immigration reform is passed in 2009.

taxi-top

Anticipating opposition, Mr. Obama has sought to shift some of the political burden to advocates for immigrants, by encouraging them to build support among voters for when his proposal goes to Congress.

Marissa Graciosa of FIRM made this statement earlier today:

We endorse President Obama’s call for immigration reform and admire his courage to fight for something we all know must get done. This is the kind of bold and visionary action we expect from our political leaders.  Climbing our way out of this economic crisis means forward thinking policies that include fixing a broken immigration system that has created a servant class in our midst. America’s economy cannot recover if we allow 12 million immigrants to continue to live and work in the margins of our society.

Obstructionists will throw everything at this Administration’s attempts to create a society which recognizes the inherent value and worth in us all.  For too long we have shrunk in the face of key decisions that must be made to get our country back on track. We will not allow this to happen.

We’ve seen first hand the pain of immigrant families ripped apart by unjust raids.  Our communities and our nation have suffered long enough.

You know what that means? That means that our time is NOW. We must not only continue to fight for reform, but we have to bring our efforts to the next level.

Mr. President, you can count on us to make just and humane immigration reform happen this year. Game on!

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Marching Toward Justice! Immigration NewsLadder

by: The Media Consortium

Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 18:50:39 PM EST

 
 Photobucket
 

By Nezua Media Consortium Blogger  


Welcome to the new White House administration, in which we move forward with purpose. On President Obama's very first day in office, immigrants and allies marched on ICE headquarters to signify their for change. Racewire reports that yesterday, "hundreds gathered in DC, a day after inaugurating our new president, to demand A New Day for Immigration." George W. Bush waved goodbye by commuting the sentences of Ignacio Ramos and Jose Compean,two former border guards who shot a man trying to escape arrest and then tried to cover their deed up. Bush claimed Ramos and Compean had "suffered enough" after serving a fifth of their sentence and set them free, though he did not pardon them. Air America reports on the controversial decision in Bush Commutes Border Agent Sentences (video).

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Obama's inaugural speech focuses on responsibility, change

by: MATTorg

Thu Jan 22, 2009 at 13:31:33 PM EST

The 44th President was sworn in yesterday and Obama couched his speech in talk of collective responsibility for change in America. Here's an excerpt-

Today I say to you that the challenges we face are real. They are serious and they are many. They will not be met easily or in a short span of time. But know this, America - they will be met.

On this day, we gather because we have chosen hope over fear, unity of purpose over conflict and discord.

On this day, we come to proclaim an end to the petty grievances and false promises, the recriminations and worn out dogmas, that for far too long have strangled our politics.

What do you want most changed? What are you going to do about it?

http://www.matt.org/english/bl...

Discuss :: (0 Comments)

Obama-Biden Immigration Policy Group Leaders Named

by: gregflynn

Wed Nov 19, 2008 at 17:00:49 PM EST

Earlier today the Obama-Biden Transition Team released the names of leaders of a number of Policy Working Groups including Immigration.  "The focus of the Policy Working Groups will be to develop the priority policy proposals and plans from the Obama Campaign for action during the Obama-Biden Administration"

IMMIGRATION

T. Alexander Aleinikoff has been Dean of the Georgetown University Law Center and Executive Vice President of Georgetown University since July 2004. He has been a member of the Georgetown faculty since 1997. Dean Aleinikoff served as General Counsel and Executive Associate Commissioner for Programs at the Immigration and Naturalization Service for several years during the Clinton Administration. From 1997 to 2004 he was a Senior Associate at the Migration Policy Institute, where he now serves on the Board of Trustees. He has written widely on immigration, refugee and citizenship law and constitutional law. Dean Aleinikoff is a graduate of Swarthmore College and Yale Law School.

Mariano-Florentino (Tino) Cuéllar is Professor and Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar at Stanford Law School. His work focuses on how organizations manage complex regulatory, migration, international security, and criminal justice problems. During the Clinton Administration he served at Treasury as Senior Advisor to the Under Secretary for Enforcement, where he worked on countering domestic and international financial crime, improving border coordination, and enhancing anti-corruption measures. He has served on the boards of numerous organizations, including Asylum Access and the Stanford Center for International Security and Cooperation. He has testified before Congress on immigration policy and separation of powers, and was appointed to the Silicon Valley Blue Ribbon Task Force on Aviation Security. He holds a J.D. from Yale Law School and a Ph.D. in Political Science from Stanford. He is an elected member of the American Law Institute.

Discuss :: (2 Comments)

The Palin' Identity

by: Kai

Mon Nov 03, 2008 at 14:26:34 PM EST

The reason why the McCain-Palin campaign has appeared erratic throughout the election season is that their strategic communications have been conceived and crafted according to the language of implicit cultural code rather than explicit thematic cohesion. On the surface, their messages appear scattershot, misaligned, contradictory and confusing; but that's because these messages are designed to appeal not to crisp logical consistency, but rather to murky socio-cultural undercurrents and subterranean sentiments which have fueled, informed, and warped white identity politics since the birth of this nation.

What's extraordinary is that this time around — at this particular crossroads, against this particular candidate — it's not working.

The beauty of US history is that years, decades, centuries of persistent popular struggle have resulted in dramatic social, political, and cultural changes in the continuing quest for greater common good. The ugliness of US history is that at every step, reactionaries have undertaken — and many others have tolerated — all manner of inner and outer violence in a greed- and fear-based desire to impose and maintain exclusionary power schemes. I view the 2008 presidential election as some sort of forward step along this trajectory. I hesitate to either overstate or understate the historical significance of what we're witnessing. We're way too close to the moment's clamor to know just what it means in a larger scope.

Not that this is about to stop me from sounding off now.

There's More... :: (2 Comments, 978 words in story)

Immigration Raids Destroy Community Progress: Pro-Migrant SanctuarySphere

by: symsess

Wed Oct 22, 2008 at 11:00:00 AM EST

The Racial Complexities of Modern Mississippi at Immigration Prof Blog citing a story from AlterNet. The need for workers had been bringing together a natural melding of people from all walks of life. However since the immigration raids anti-migrant sentiment as been on the rise. Once hate is injected it's hard to get it out of the system.

 

Check out this video from The Unapologetic Mexican titled That One Bigot.

From Why Am I Not Surprised - Be Bold, Be Red on October 30:

Thanks to The Unapologetic Mexican, I was reminded this week that a year ago (and it hardly seems possible that it could have been that long already), the Be Bold! Be Red! campaign called on men and women from coast to coast to organize to fight violence against women of color. Since that time, we have seen publicized multiple cases of such violence, a ridiculous number of them involving women in Iraq, such as Pvt. LaVena Johnson, brutally beaten before being murdered and disfigured in an attempt to hide the identity of the perpetrator(s). The official ruling on the case from the Army? Suicide.
There's More... :: (0 Comments, 332 words in story)

Presidential Debate - No Talk On Immigration: Pro-Migrant SanctuarySphere

by: symsess

Thu Oct 16, 2008 at 08:12:20 AM EST

Last night McCain defended his own wealth by claiming Obama wants to take money from the middle class. He used a white male, Joe the plumber, as a representative of the middle class. Joe does not represent the struggling class of this country. White males have had the upper hand since they took this land from the natives.  While Joe may be an 'everman'  he is not representative of those most needing help in this country country. 

The only mention of immigration I noted was McCain's claim that Obama is misrepresenting his views on the subject. Why then didn't provide those views in the debate when he had the chance? We all know that McCain attacked Obama on Spanish language television claiming that he voted against pro-migrant legislation which was false. But let's face it - they're both unwilling to discuss this subject in public while even Obama has used the Spanish ad tactic.  People's lives are being destroyed in this country everyday through immigration raids.  Please be sure to support the Fast For Our Future campaign.

Checking out the live blogging of last night's debate at Zuky I like the comment - "complete spending freeze--can we start with the war?" from rr. Good point. Will McCain's spending freeze mean no money going to the war. Sounds good to me, but they need to get the troops back first.

There's More... :: (0 Comments, 248 words in story)
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